Hey gang, welcome back to yet another edition of Pulp. Hopefully you’re all rugged up against the winter chill – my morning commute makes me feel more like a penguin than a human. The wonderful thing about cold weather, however, is that’s it’s the prime time for setting up shop under a heater in comfy clothes and diving into a large pile of comic books. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing, at least – I’ve got a “to-read” pile a mile high, and this is the perfect weather to make some inroads.
This week, I’ve picked up a book that I’ve heard a lot about, but haven’t gotten around to reading until now: Lumberjanes volume 1, Beware the Kitten Holy, written by Noelle Stevenson (Nimona) and Grace Ellis (Moonstruck). I remember all the excitement and acclaim when Lumberjanes first came out; it even won two Eisner Awards back in 2015 (Best New Series and Best Publication for Teens). I wasn’t keen on reading it at the time – I try to avoid comics that get that much acclaim until after the general hysteria has calmed down – but now that I’ve remembered that it’s a thing, I can carry on about it for your reading pleasure.
Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are the titular Lumberjanes. Campers at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types (yes, that’s actually the name), the five best friends are making the most of their summer. In between the hiking, canoeing and general mayhem, they’ve noticed that there’s something weird going on; there’s three-eyed animals roaming the woods, caves that lead into booby-trapped temples, and strange riddles daubed on the walls. The Lumberjanes are determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, even if it means kicking butt from dusk ‘til dawn.
Lumberjanes is the kind of comic that just exudes fun. It comes across like a mix of Adventure Time and Gravity Falls, two series’ that are near and dear to my heart. Lumberjanes has the oftentimes bizarre sense of humour of Adventure Time, paired with the supernatural mystery themes of Gravity Falls, whilst being its own beast entirely. One of the highlights of the book is the interactions between the characters; the five main characters seem to be able to bounce off each other perfection, while retaining their own quirks and keeping a sense of balance.
It’s not the most complex of stories – it’s part of the Boom! Box children’s imprint, after all – but what I’ve read thus far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. There are enough dangling threads to keep readers interested, but that’s not to say that Beware the Kitten Holy isn’t enjoyable on its own – it’s a good old fashioned romp, themed around a spooky mystery.
If you’re looking for a comic that’s fun, family-friendly and full of good times, I’d definitely recommend Lumberjanes. Its unabashed glee and wholesome relationships make for a story that’s both engaging and heart-warming at the same time. Stevenson and Ellis have started something fantastic, and if the opportunity arises, I’m definitely going to keep an eye on the gals of the Camp for Hardcore Lady Types.
Written by Alastair McGibbon